As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Bird of prey tracking tech to help stop Highland wildlife crime

23rd March
SOME of Scotland’s golden eagles will be fitted with new tracking technology able to pinpoint death locations in a bid to cut wildlife crime.
The satellite tag has an early warning system to detect unusual behaviour and will provide more accurate information on deaths.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the tags should “make a real difference in deterring would-be criminals” as they will give an instant fix on birds which die.
The trackers will also give more in-depth information on raptor movements and behaviour.
Golden eagles at the Cairngorms National Park will be fitted with the tags in an 18-month trial which, if successful, could be extended to cover the species elsewhere.
The technology could potentially be miniaturised to fit on smaller tags for other birds of prey, such as hen harriers.
It uses the “geostationary Iridium” satellite network and ensures signal information is always available, while multiple sensors immediately send a distress signal and exact location back to base if unusual behaviour is detected. This means rapid identification and recovery of any tagged birds which die and provides detailed information on their movements in the minutes leading up to their death.
Last year, RSPB Scotland said 12 golden eagles had disappeared over seven years after their tags stopped transmitting in an area of the Highlands dubbed a “black hole” for satellite-tagged birds of prey.
Cunningham said of the new technology: “The tags should make a real difference in deterring would-be criminals, as well as playing a key role in establishing exactly what happened, should any of these magnificent birds of prey disappear or die in unusual circumstances.”
Grant Moir, Cairngorms National Park Authority CEO, said: “This is an exciting breakthrough in the technology around raptor conservation, understanding the birds and combating wildlife crime.”
The latest wildlife crime report published by the Scottish Government in December showed raptor persecution offences fell from 25 in 2015-16 to 11 in 2016-17.

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